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Fludro And Flying


Mare
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Hello, I was restarted on Fludro this week, and probably should never have gone off of it, and I am already feeling more in control of my hydration. Yeah! ( .05mg/day) But, I am flying from San Francisco to Penn in a few weeks to visit my daughter. I have done this trip twice since having this illness, once on Fludro, and once off of it. I have not read in the forum about what happened to me, so I am hoping for some suggestions and insights. At the time I did not wear compression stockings, because my docs had not realized that I had Pots, only isolated low aldosterone. I am sure the compression stockings would help. Flying is so scary for me, and I have gone to the airport, and cancelled my flights, once on the jet bridge when I realized that I was to dry for the 5 hour flight.

But I have flown, and I survived. My first weird and scary problem happened on the flight from Dulles to Denver, and then on to San Francisco. (I was taking .1mg of fludro) I felt really good in Dulles, and walked, stopping to rest, through that ridiculous airport. I felt fine on the flight to Denver, and I was drinking fluids and had salty snacks. Landing in Denver, I layed down on the floor to rest. I then got an awful, awful headache. And I became super thirsty. I felt like I needed water, not gatorade. I felt awful. I ended up drinking a liter of water. I still had a bad headache when I boarded the next flight, however, I think that I used to get headaches ( much more mildly) when I flew through Denver in the past, so I felt that I was better to get the heck out of there. On the plane I continued to drink more fluids, like I couldn't get enough. Nobody drinks this much on a flight! The headache eased some, coming and going in intensity, but never went away until we landed, at which point, it was gone. I must have drank about 2 liters of water. So somehow I must have had too much salt, right? On the way to Penn, I changed in Chicago. I had no problem on the flights, and I felt like I needed extra salt in Chicago, and the McDonalds fries with a bit of extra salt revived me.

I know that you loose about a cup of water an hour with flying, and that you naturally loose sodium, to keep the electrolytes balanced. If Fludro keeps you from loosing sodium, then what happened to me makes sense? I have not read about anyone else experiencing this. On the Chicago route, I had only had half a pill (.05mg) , and took the other half later that day. On the Denver flight, I had taken .1mg in the morning.

The next time I flew, I was not on Fludro, and obviously, in a better place, but still needing extra salt. I had no problems on the trip out, changing in Dallas, as I am too scared to do a 5 hour flight. On the return, I experienced an intense thirst on the second flight. It didn't last long. I drank gatorade and water, and I had no headache.

This is causing me anxiety. I won't go through Denver again. The headache and severe thirst started there, after I was fine on the 3 hour flight getting there. Any insights, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all!

Mare

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I wonder if you had problems in Denver due to the elevation. It is 5,000 ft there vs sea level where you started. Of course cabins are pressurized equivalent to about 7,000 ft--but landing at sea level you would get relief from that stress vs landing in Denver, not as much. Denver is also high desert, so the air is dry. In general I have had problems with symptoms when I travel west. I am not accustomed to the dry air, or higher elevations.

Fludrocortisone can make your kidneys waste potassium from what I understand. Perhaps you got low on potassium. I have a tendency towards slightly low potassium levels. I know when I get low on potassium I can feel pretty badly. Coconut water (or any natural juice really) is loaded with potassium--much more so than is Gatorade. I find this will help as a quick pick me up, along w salt.

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I don't have any thoughts specific to fludrocortisone. But, I've flown to Florida and back the past 2 years and there are 2 things I would not do without...my compression stocking and a wheelchair assist at the airport both for departure and arrival. I don't normally use a wheelchair, but it was invaluable in getting me through the airports so that I still felt well enough to enjoy my trip. You do need to have cash available to tip the person helping you but they will stop for food or the restroom or whatever you need.

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Thank you katybug and Momtogiuliana for your thoughts. It never occurred to me that I could have low potassium, but it seems that everything gets out of sorts with flying. I will never go thru Denver again, as I am sure that the altitude is just one more insult I can do without. I now have compression stockings, so that will help. I have yet to ask for a wheelchair, as this is all new to me, but I know that I will. It is what it is, (my life) and anything to make the trip better is worth it!

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The first time I asked for the wheelchair assist I was a little tentative going into it. But no one blinked an eye and all the airport employees made me feel very comfortable. I'm so glad I took the plunge. I wouldn't have been well (as well as I ever am) when I reached my destination if I hadn't done it. Now that I've done it, I wouldn't go without it and don't feel self-contious about it at all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When the cabin pressure drops once the door is closed I get very lightheaded. I know it drops my blood pressure. So, I just take a nap and wake up when I arrive at the destination. :)

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